Health IT

Three best lines from the all HIT all the time Healthbox demo day in Nashville

It was a sunny snow day in Nashville on Tuesday. Although there were no flakes in sight, there were plenty of unclaimed badges at the HealthBox Demo Day check-in desk. It’s too bad so many people missed the seven presentations from creative and determined startups addressing everything from dirty surgical instruments to colonoscopy schedulings. This […]

It was a sunny snow day in Nashville on Tuesday. Although there were no flakes in sight, there were plenty of unclaimed badges at the HealthBox Demo Day check-in desk. It’s too bad so many people missed the seven presentations from creative and determined startups addressing everything from dirty surgical instruments to colonoscopy schedulings. This group of companies was one of the most interesting and original I’ve seen recently.

These were the three best comments from the day that illustrated the focus and drive in this group of entrepreneurs.

1. “Caked on bio burden has been cooked onto the instrument.” Avery Fisher, president, Remedify
After reading this article about the state of surgical tools, my biggest motivator to stay at a healthy weight is to avoid joint surgery at all costs. If I had to get a knee replacement, the anesthesiologist would have to use extra meds to get me to relax because I would not be able to stop thinking about the bits of someone else’s bones clinging to the surgical instruments to be used in my surgery. Fisher is working on a solution to this problem to make it easier to keep these tools clean.His comment illustrated how specialized and unique the entire Nashville class was. There were no app-only companies or coupon optimizers or personal trainer solutions. All the companies were focused on a specific and significant problem in the business of healthcare.

Hunter Phillips of PRSM Healthcare has a system to eliminate no-shows for colonoscopy appointments and help GI docs make more money. Philip Misiowiec of Atlas Health is making it easier for all developers to work with PHI by providing a basic platform that has HIPAA compliance built in. Fisher has created a “cookbook” with simplified instructions for cleaning complex surgical instruments. Joanna Rogerson and Jon Guida of GEMAtouch are building a medication adherence system for cancer meds that makes it easier for patients to manage their treatment.

 

2. “This was made by pain docs, for pain docs.” – Paul McCurry, MD, CEO and co-founder Axial Healthcare
I don’t think that Steve Blank and his life sciences lean launchpad class took a field trip to Nashville this fall, but many people mentioned customer conversations at Tuesday’s demo day. Entrepreneurs mentioned pivots and a sharper product focus that came about due to these conversations.
Axial Healthcare is building a system to stop opioid overuse and fix the current approach to pain management. The team is looking at doctor credentialing, fraud, patient symptom reporting and several other aspects of the pain management system to stop overutilization.
McCurry said that after talking to payers, he discovered that they wanted a risk score for each pain patient and a monthly list of people with the biggest risk of overdosing.
“It definitely shifted our focus,” McCurry said.

 

3. “No silver bullet will bend the cost curve and improve quality. We need a multifaceted approach that drives incremental changes in many areas. We think each of these companies is part of that larger solution.” Joe Sowell, senior vice president and chief development officer, HCAThis one is a little obvious, but you don’t hear it enough when the topic of conversation is “fixing healthcare.” Many times I hear, “But it [insert entrepreneurial idea] doesn’t solve this, this or this,” as a reason not to support a new idea for changing healthcare. It’s like the criticism that the ACA doesn’t insure all the uninsured people in America. Yes, that’s true, but more people have access to insurance now than before the ACA became the law. It’s true that wellness programs won’t reduce the BMI of 100 percent of a company’s employees, but they can help some people change their habits. A diabetes awareness program won’t stop every case of metabolic syndrome from turning into type 2 diabetes, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth launching.

Sowell also thanked the 20+ HCA employees who mentored the entrepreneurs and said how proud the company was to jump-start the new businesses.
“We will fix the healthcare delivery system one company at a time,” he said.

His words were a good reminder that although the world may need only one SnapChat, there are many opportunities for many startups to make healthcare more efficient, more accessible and more affordable.